Description Such cabinets were produced in Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka) off the western coast of India on commission from Portuguese traders for the European market by the mid 16th century. The shape and function are European, but the subject and style of the elaborate carving, including perforation of the ivory plaques that make it up, are characteristic of Ceylon. The plaques of ivory are carved in low relief, backed by sheets of tortoise shell and with silver fittings (corner pieces, rivets, key plates, original key and handles). On the front, the upper drawer is decorated with confronted lions spewing scrolls enclosed in borders of quatrefoils and beading; the lower two drawers have key plates and scrolling, with identical borders. On the sides are square central panels with winged leonine fantastic creatures with reptilian scaled tails (serapendiyas) enclosed in borders surrouned by scrolling and framed with borders. On the top are two confronted leonine creatures, similar to those on the sides, enclosed in beaded ovals and scrollwork, further enclosed in a border with outer scrolling and border. On the back is an oblong field with fragment of leonine creature enclosed in beaded frame with elaborate scrolling and border. The underside is composed of plain ivory. There is also a small section of border in the upper drawer.
- Indian and Southeast Asian Ivories: Selections from Local Collections. Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn. 1982.
- The Jeweled Isle: The Art of Sri Lanka. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles. 2018-2019.
Provenance Sale, Sotheby's, New York; purchased by Peter Marks Gallery, New York, before 1979 ; purchased by the Friends of the Asian Collection, 1999; given to Walters Art Museum, 1999.  See correspondence in the files of the Brooklyn Museum regarding the planning of an exhibition and publication that included this object
Credit Gift of the Friends of the Asian Collection, 1999
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